Hey, Ladies and Gentlemen, April's Male Model on the Rise is Michigan Fashion Model Justin Sansom. I had the pleasure of meeting and shooting with him. While I was visiting Detriot Michigan! We shot some stylized photos to update his modeling portfolio. Justin is a fluid poser and is excellent at changing his facial expressions. He barely needs direction and is great a flow posing easily. I could literally shoot him all day ha! His website and modeling portfolio are impressive he has worked with various talented photographers! His success in the fashion modeling industry has just begun. I'm excited to see what the future holds for him. Justin thanks so much for being personable, professional, on time, and being a joy to shoot with. Cant wait to plan more shoots with you in the future. Everyone, enjoy his interview i hope you aispring models gain some knowledge from me and Justin's Interview.
1.) What’s your name, age, and where are you from? Also, tell us why did you start modeling?
My name is Justin Sansom, I’m 23 years old and I’m from Oak Park, Michigan. I started to break out of a shell I grew up in. I have always been insecure and don’t have the highest confidence level, so modeling has helped me overcome that.
2.) How long have you been modeling?
I have been modeling for about 4 years now! I started as a freshman in college.
3.) Please tell us about your experience pursuing modeling in a mid-western state like Detroit Michigan? What are the challenges and also, what are the advantages or dis-advantages modeling in the Midwestern Area Market?
My experience modeling in the Mid-west region has had mostly ups and a few downs. Michigan doesn’t really cater to the modeling industry, which is the main challenge. However, there are some amazing photographers & creatives in Detroit that I’ve worked with and built relationships with for future work. The advantages of being in the Mid-west area are working with others from this area to build your portfolio! That is what will take you beyond to the better market regions. I don’t feel that there are any disadvantages; it’s all about networking with others, and putting your name & face out there. Instagram is an amazing platform for that.
4.) What styles of photo work do you enjoy shooting the most?
I honestly love shooting all different types of concepts. I think of myself as a versatile model, because I don’t like to limit myself to a specific category of modeling. If you want to put some makeup on me, I don’t mind it. The only thing I am not comfortable with is complete nudity; but I really love trying new concepts!
5.) How long did it take for you to grow your hair out to the length that it is today? Do you think your hair gives you a competitive edge in this industry?
I have been growing my hair for about 3-1/2 to 4 years now! I definitely think my hair helps me stand out in this industry, especially with the area I’m in. My hair is my trademark!
6.) Are you currently signed to an agency? If not what would be your agency wish list?
Yes, I’m currently signed with 3 different regional agencies. However, my dream is to be signed with an international agency like Ford or Wilhelmina.
7.) Do you think male models are underrated within the industry? How can we change the image and perception of the male model being less versatile in the type of work they can shoot and produce?
I don’t think male models are underrated in this industry, however, I do feel like male models are placed in a category to display only masculinity and muscles. I feel like if more male models experimented with different concepts that step outside of being completely masculine, that would lessen the idea that males are less versatile. In my opinion, masculinity can still be conveyed with a more feminine concept. It all depends on the model.
8.) Any advice for beginning models that want to know how to flow pose in front of the camera like yourself?
It’s funny because I’m still working on advancing in my posing (so i’m flattered)! I would say practice in the mirror with moving and posing. Practice moving your body and flowing from pose to pose. When you practice in the mirror, memorize how it feels to do certain movements so you can replicate them in photoshoots!
9.) Advice on how models can stand out in such a statured crowed market?
My advice is to build a diverse portfolio of work. Trying new things, working with new people and building relationships with the people you meet. Word of Mouth is the best form of advertisement and the more you put your name and face out there, the more you will stand out and be recognized by others!
10.) Is your modeling name Giovanni?
Yes, Giovanni is my modeling alias. He’s like my alter ego!
11.) Do you like having a slimmer editorial body? Do feel that designers love to use you more fashion work because or your slim body build?
Actually, I don’t like having a slim build! My body is a slow work in progress... because I’m very lazy. I feel like designers like to use me for fashion work because of my hair and height. I think those two go hand in hand when getting chosen by designers!
12.) How can models improve their runway walks?
There are TONS of YouTube videos that show models how to improve their walk on the runway. There are also modeling boot camps that teach models how to walk & pose. When walking the runway, you want to look above the audience at a single focal point. That way, you won’t be looking at anyone in their face, which can help focus more on your walking & posing.
13.) What made you create a website branding yourself and your portfolio?
I created my website to showcase all of my work. Instagram is a good platform, but it’s not a portfolio. I noticed a lot of agencies ask if you have a website aside from your social media, so it’s good to build a custom site that displays all of your talents!
14.) Tips on how models can style themselves for photo sessions?
Follow different fashion pages on social media and take some ideas down! Tumblr is a great source for fashion blog pages. You can also follow hashtags on Instagram that cater to specific posts, for instance “#MensFashion”.
15.) What was it like meeting and working with me for the first time in Detroit? What did you like the most about the photos we captured during our session?
Meeting you was awesome!!! You are very professional and particular about your work. I loved your lighting setup and how it gave all the photos and different looks a certain mood! One of many more shoots to come!
16.) Where would you see yourself career-wise within the next 5 years from now?
This is always a tough question for me. Hopefully, within the next five years, I will be able to relocate out of Michigan into a state with a better market for modeling. I hope to get signed by an international agency and be able to travel around the world doing different types of fashion work!
Make sure you follow Justin on his Social Media Pages